Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Special Guest - Carol E. Wyer

Any writer today knows how important it is to maintain a profile on social media and get those reviews to keep the reading public interested in their books. It can get very tiring and authors who notice a dip in sales can become disillusioned. It is then when they might turn to one of those adverts that have appeared in their inbox to advertise or promote a book or, to take a chance at winning a book award and earn an accolade that will help launch their literary future.

Take it from one who has learned the hard way, there are very few competitions you should enter. Many charge a fee but it does not end there. Surprise, surprise you will be short-listed along with many others in your category. For some awards there are loads of categories so it seems as if everyone who entered won a semi-finalist award. That earns you bragging rights—which only serve to further promote the award itself—and the opportunity to purchase stickers for your books, badge or medal should you wish.

In my salad days, I believed that winning an award would allow me to garner attention from the media and promote my book further. Grumpy was not happy. He did not want me frittering away my hard-earned money on awards. He took some convincing but I applied. I won three – two Indie medals – all bright and shiny—the size of dinner plates. I also won a gold medal from Readers Favourite where I got a wonderful review and jumped about the room in excitement. Grumpy remained unimpressed by the size of my gong. “How much did that lump of metal cost you?” he grumbled. He was right. I should have saved my money. Did they help? No. Journalists were interested until I mentioned my award. “What’s that then?” they replied just before they decided it was not newsworthy. When it is an award from some obscure site that is unheard of in the UK then just forget it. It is not worth your time, or your money.

It didn’t dampen my ardour and I continued to seek out well-known awards. One of my books, Just Add Spice was entered for the Costa Awards (Ha, even Grumpy had heard of them). Then, my publishers, Safkhet Publishing, put one of my books up for The People’s Book Prize Award.

Founded by Dame Beryl Bainbridge and with Frederick Forsythe as its patron, this is a superb platform for authors who wish to be recognised. Entry is free. If your book is selected from the many, you will be showcased for three months, during which time the voting public will be able to vote for it. If you are then one of the lucky three to go through to the finals, you will have one further week ahead of the award ceremony to promote and ask readers (or your family) to vote again.

The ceremony takes place in London. It is a glitzy affair with a touch of showbiz about it. Sky television film for the entire evening and all finalists get the chance to show off their books.

It’s not just about the award. You have a wonderful opportunity to write about your book on social media, show it off and attract more readers. The People’s Book Prize award is dedicated to promoting literacy and showcasing lesser-known authors. You can let local press know you are a finalist and you may well find yourself appearing on radio shows or television. All of which all leads to sales and the feeling you have climbed onto the bottom rung of Z-list celebrity fame.

Some of you many know I won the award last year for my non-fiction book Grumpy Old Menopause. I can’t tell you how thrilled (and surprised) I was. Sales for the book jumped that month and I had a few manic days where I felt I was achieving what I had always wanted. My book was being read. I was making people laugh. Grumpy managed a smile—yes, a smile!

Now my humorous travel guide, Grumpies On Board is up for voting. It was compiled over several months and we have been researching it for some considerable time. It is more than a travel guide. It will give you ideas and suggestions to change how you travel or indeed make you want to try out all sorts of previously unheard of stuff. It’s stuffed full of fun and laughs too. You can find out why Grumpy will not go Snuffle Trunting again.

Given my beloved Grumpy wrote all the daft comments in it, he is rather hoping to cajole a few votes for it. If you have five minutes, could you please head over to the website, register and vote for it. I would love to see him collect an award. Heaven knows what he’ll say if it happens but be assured Sky will be televising it and we’ll all find out.

Vote HERE:


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